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The differences between FLAC and MP3, Lossless vs Lossy

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Old 31st May 2008, 10:36 PM
 
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The differences between FLAC and MP3, Lossless vs Lossy


The differences between FLAC and MP3, Lossless vs Lossy

The time has come where you can get a 500GB or 1TB hard drive for pretty cheap. Space is no longer a issue for most people. Alot of people are wondering what music format they should use, and what's the difference in quality between each format is.

Lossy Format
This means when you rip a CD, you lose audio data and quality. The most common lossy file is MP3.

Lossless Format
This means when you rip a CD, it is an exact audio copy and you lose no quality. The most common type of lossless files are FLAC and WMA Lossless.

Will you be able to hear a difference between lossy and lossless?
Depending on what you use to play your music, what your speakers/headphones are, and how good your ears are, you may or may not notice a difference between them. Some people, however, cannot hear the difference between them even on the highest end of hardware.

Does my player support lossless?
Some portable music players (iPods, Zunes, etc) will not play certain lossless formats. You should check to see if your player can handle it, and what lossless format your player likes best. Foobar and Winamp should be able to play all type of lossless formats, however WMP11 will only play WMA Lossless.

Lossless is more future proof than Lossy
The best thing about the lossless format is that you can convert FLAC to WMA Lossless and back to FLAC as many times as you want without losing any quality. The same goes for any lossless format. With lossy format (MP3) each time you convert you lose quality and cannot get it back.
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Old 1st June 2008, 06:59 PM
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Re: The differences between FLAC and MP3, Lossless vs Lossy

Hi,

Kooldeep very good thread, and the overall explanation is nice,Only one clarification or rather addition, If you check all over the net the next format to FLAC is APE (MONKEYS AUDIO) not WMA(I've very rarely seen one) so thats the one in famous list !!

Though this debate of Lossy Vs Lossless will never end ( some of the Audiophile's just won't accept the FLAC quality same their Audiophile CD ) for obvious reasons including some that you've mentioned !!

Regards.
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Old 1st June 2008, 07:52 PM
 
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Re: The differences between FLAC and MP3, Lossless vs Lossy

I don't have that golden ears to judge the difference between flac & CD , so I'm pretty sure that I don't include in that class

Quote:
Originally Posted by soundsgreat View Post
Audiophile's just won't accept the FLAC quality same their Audiophile CD ) for obvious reasons including some that you've mentioned !!

Regards.
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Old 1st June 2008, 07:59 PM
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Re: The differences between FLAC and MP3, Lossless vs Lossy

Hi,

Hmm ! I referred to some folks who'd say like that Sunil ! Hey did you read my thread ? please do read and let me know what you think !

Music

Regards.
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Old 29th July 2008, 11:45 PM
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Re: The differences between FLAC and MP3, Lossless vs Lossy

Print: 7 Facts Audiophiles Need to Know About Digital Music - CE Pro

Print: 5 Digital Music Formats For Audiophiles - CE Pro

fyi.
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Old 30th July 2008, 10:56 AM
 
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Re: The differences between FLAC and MP3, Lossless vs Lossy

Read the following thread

http://www.hifivision.com/music/871-...acd-dvd-4.html

There I have posted a link to Stereophile that has a very clear scientific explanation on the differences between the various popular formats.

Cheers
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Old 2nd October 2008, 11:53 PM
 
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Re: The differences between FLAC and MP3, Lossless vs Lossy

Quote:
Originally Posted by suniil View Post
I don't have that golden ears to judge the difference between flac & CD , so I'm pretty sure that I don't include in that class
dont worry, mate. you can't tell because there is NO difference. FLAC and CD recordings are bit-perfect.

FLAC is analogous to using ZIP to compress files. there is no loss in data. only better compression.

the best thing about FLAC, IMHO, is that using the cue sheet, one can obtain perfect replicas of the ripped CD. Also, for portable use, copies of the FLAC file can be transcoded to your lossy format of choice. Personally i ditched the physical CD's a long time ago. I'm slowly replacing all my 320kbps mp3's with fresh FLAC copies.
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Old 6th October 2008, 01:14 PM
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Re: The differences between FLAC and MP3, Lossless vs Lossy

hi guys
not too savvy with the intricacies of formats etc - my knowledge of computers is limited to ms office and a web browser

i dont understand that mp3s lose quality and its pretty clear to hear as well. when i rip cd's they are saved in wma format. not too familiar with flac etc. is there a better format for me to save it in other that wma and if so how do i go about it
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Old 13th October 2008, 05:06 PM
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Re: The differences between FLAC and MP3, Lossless vs Lossy

Can people here actually tell a FLAC file from a wav? With all due respect, this is pure placebo.

Try this:
  1. Rip a CD to wave using your favourite CD ripper (try ExactAudioCopy or DbPowerAmp).
  2. Encode this into FLAC.
  3. Decode the FLAC to a .wav file.
  4. If you are on Linux, do a 'diff' on the two .wav files-the one that went into the encoder and the other that the decoder generated. If you are on Windows, use an MD5 hash checker. Either method will tell you the the two .wavs are bit-identical.

So how can people tell the difference between a FLAC and a .wav file? It is mathematically impossible for differences to exist between the two. To go one step further, you can perform a blind ABX test and judge for yourself.

If you can indeed distinguish a FLAC from a .wav on the same setup, then there is something wrong with the decoder. This, however is highly improbable.

If someone wants to see this, I can provide screenshots of the above process, but I recommend that you do this yourself.
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Old 13th October 2008, 05:31 PM
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Re: The differences between FLAC and MP3, Lossless vs Lossy

not really sure what a wav or a flac file is but i call definitely tell the loss in quality in an mp3 file. highs becoming sketchy, thinner mids and bass and a lot of listening fatigue while listening


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